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Archive for December, 2007

Today I went to see Fantastic 4: The Rise and Fall of the Silver Surfer. I’m not normally very big on sequels but since I hadn’t seen the first film, I was hoping this movie would be different. Unfortunately, it was just a bad movie with pitiful dialogue, lack lustre script spattered with a watery soup of unconvincing special effects. The whole point of special effects is that they are suppose to be believable, but to me the actors were either unbelievably bad at interacting with the CGI or the editor had been totally unconscious during its cutting.

This film was for me another example of a Hollywood action film targeted towards children. The comedy was pretty ridiculous, though not in a good way. It was just a really bad film and a complete waste of an evening. It was a shining example of a movie that really should go straight to DVD and preferably into oblivion from there.

When I see drivel like this, it reminds of Batman in the 1970’s but without the special effects. Unlike Fantastic 4, the original Batman in its day was enjoyed and has been remembered. The Silver Surfer on the other hand will be forgotten very quickly.

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I had another lovely surprise today in the mail. My credit card provider and wrote me a lovely letter saying they were concerned about my credit card being used in New York City during the time I was in bed in England being ill. Luckily they detected the fraud before any significant damage could be done and declined the transactions. Apparently the fraudster was trying to buy a job lot of theatre tickets; around $1000 worth which I guess they would have sold on. The transaction was declined so they didn’t actually get any ticket at all but as I pointed out to my credit card provider, the only places I use it is to buy stuff online. Funny enough, during the month of December there wasn’t that many transactions and not that many places where the fraud could have occurred. In fact the only places I bought items from where virgin Megastore’s, Amazon and Dabs – using the Google payment system. I suspect the latter since the fraud happens in the United States and as a result I will not be paying through Google again.

The man on the phone explained that buying on the Internet is safe but this is the second time it’s happened to me and so I have doubts. You’d think in this modern world they would think of something a little bit safer! It’s of course also possible that the credit card information was obtained via the Windows operating system as it’s got this unique that highly insecure habit of saving data you have entered into a form. It thinks is being useful by saving your credit card number so you can easily pick it off a drop-down list when you purchase something next. This is absolutely ridiculous of course as if you can see your number so can anyone else including potential fraudsters.

My advice for purchasing of the Internet. If he can help it by the item from a shop yourself using cash! If he cannot do there then of course never under any circumstances use a debit card as at least a credit card does give you a layer of protection — it’s not your money! Make any purchases from an operating system developed by anyone other than Microsoft. I personally would make an effort to use Macintosh or Linux if I could get the thing to work properly! I’m pretty sure Macintosh would, but I have been having some significant issues with several distributions of Linux on my Dell dimension 5000. More of that later in some other post.

They have been thinking the go out and buy all this crap, we have more stuff which we had to yet more stuff we have stored away. I have got no more room for more and to be honest I didn’t use half the stuff I’ve already got. So, why do I keep buying more stuff which is to be stored away somewhere not used. This world is so commercial isn’t it.

Anyway, the man on the phone said I didn’t have to worry about transactions as they went appear on the bill and they would claim back any that they had authorised that are clearly not mine. There was a couple that came to two pounds; apparently fraudsters check cards by often making to small transactions on them to see if they’ll reel numbers are not. Then of course if they’ll authorised, they were come with a couple of large transactions. Luckily this pattern was spotted by my credit provider and so that particular panic is over with.

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Every year we go through the same stress of wrapping presents for people who already know what they are getting. I thought the whole point of Christmas was to give and recieve crap presents that you can sell on e-bay in the new year?

I like Christmas, but I don’t like all the commercial side of it. Everyone is compelled to give each other presents of similar values and spend exactly the same on any children in the family or the spoilt brats sulk. When I was a child, I never sulked because I didn’t get the latest gadget or didn’t have enough presents. Though in my day there wasn’t many electronic type presents for children to have.. I used my imagination to play and had plenty of adventures. I didn’t get my first micro-computer until I was in my teens and then it still cost quite a bit of money – I now regret starting out typing so young!

This morning I woke up with a cold again or rather its the same cold as before that never quite went away. I know I shouldn’t had went out walking and stayed in where its warm, but at the same time I really needed some fresh air.

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I’ve been trying to do some Christmas shopping lately and searching desperately for a Nunchuk controller for a Wii. I don’t own a Wii myself, but its a present for a nephew. After searching for the stores, the internet and even e bay I was shocked to see that you just couldn’t get them. On Tuesday evening I was amazed to see a Nunchuk available on Zavvi (Virgin Mega store) web site for £15.00 and so I ordered it. On completing my order, I was only advised that Zavvi would not be able to guarantee Christmas delivery and so I obviously needed to cancel this. I emailed them 10 minutes later both via their website with the subject line of “Order Cancellation” and using regular email. By email I wrote:

Dated: 18/12/2007 22:46
Can you please cancel the order XXXXXX I placed with you this evening by mistake. I didn’t see that you were unable to guarantee delivery by Christmas and thus I cannot take that chance as its a present for someone. If you cannot deliver on time, then I don’t want to disappoint a little boy and prefer to fetch it myself; I hope to get a friend to be able to get one from your Nottingham store. Please confirm that my order has been canceled.

They did not cancel my order despite this absolutely clear email that I wanted them to, instead they sent me a dispatch notice on 20th December at 2:57am and later that day also wrote back saying:

Date: 20/12/2007 15:20
We have identified what we feel may be the answer to your query. Please see below. You can cancel your order by logging into your account and selecting “view orders”. If your order is in a status of “on order” please select the option to cancel your order. You will receive confirmation of the cancellation by email. If your order has been cancelled please note an email will have been sent to you confirming the cancellation and giving a possible explanation as to why the order has been cancelled. Have we answered your query? If not please reply to this email detailing the nature of your query. Thank you.

The problem was that in “my orders” section on their website, there was not any ability to cancel any order in progress. I could only cancel orders that are on a back-order, rather than an order in progress. If customer support had actually logged into my account, but it seems Zavvi customer support couldn’t be bothered to do their job properly. Obviously, if I could had cancelled the order myself on-line, Why the hell would I be email-ing them to ask them to cancel it for me? It defies belief that the moron at Zavvi couldn’t comply with the simplest of requests from a paying customer without getting it completely around their necks.

I followed up with this email:

Date: 20/12/2007 21:02
You know full well this doesn’t answer my query and you didn’t cancel my order as requested. Instead I got an email saying it was dispatched BUT I do not want this item. I have already asked you TWICE to cancel my order and for whatever reason you have chosen to ignore a customer. How do I return the item (unopened) and get a full refund? Can I take the item to your physical store in Nottingham?

I don’t expect to hear a meaning response from them, but something they have just copied and pasted from their web site instead of giving a valued relevant response. Its hard to find such a low level of customer service and I cannot blame Virgin for dumping their shops if my experience of dealing with these total wasters is anything to go by.

Since its already dispatched; I have got to wait for it and send it straight back to their free post address, requesting a refund. It seems ridiculous that there absolutely no way to cancel an order with Zavvi! What a bunch of idiots. A company for the avoid list for next years shopping.

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Walking in the Rain

I’ve not been out for a walk for a couple of weeks due to the bad weather and illness. Despite having a cold, I ventured out today but yet again the heavens opened on me and I was back home ringing out my coat. I had an umbrella, but I do find it really difficult to keep hold of it for any length of time and so my arms are hurting quite abit tonight.

We just had a quick walk about shipely park in Derbyshire. It was a really murky day, misty and a blanket of cloud covered as far as the eye could see. The light was really bad and the street lamps were on mid-afternoon. It was a really miserable day and I perhaps should had stayed in next to the fire. Just sometimes, I really need to get out in the fresh air for health reasons more than anything.

We got back home by 3:45pm and I took off all my wet clothes. I discovered that my shoes leak too! My last pair of shoes leaked too. Why can’t I find a pair of shoes that don’t leak? I suppose its the price we pay for cheap imports; they are cheap, but they leak! hmm. Anyway.. Bed Time.

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